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Aha Moments

switchingtracks for Blog and Facebook  4.0 8-7-13

Competitive Markets and the Rule of Three

by Jagdish N. Sheth and Rajendra S. Sisodia

This research explains the relationship between profitability and market share. The research studied 200 industries, finding consistent patterns in market share and profitability, regardless of industry. In mature industries with many competitors, only three will eventually dominate through size and economies of scale. The only others who will not wind up competing in “the ditch” are those who have strategic control of a niche.

Download the article

Simplifying Complexity is Powerful

switchingtracks for Blog and Facebook  4.0 8-7-13

The Flywheel Effect by Jim Collins

What drives success – the kind that increases the value of your company year after year?

Whether you call it a recession or not, the economy, and consumer confidence, continue to act as if we are in one. Ninety percent of businesses today have the same #1 objective: growth. In stagnant markets, this makes for an incredibly competitive environment, with stronger companies exploiting every weakness of their competitors.

There are no silver bullets. Sustained revenue growth comes from focused, coordinated, correctly sequenced improvement in a very specific set of skills.

The summary of Jim Collin’s research, Good to Great — The Flywheel Effect, is a great start to understanding those steps.

Read the Article: Good to Great – The Flywheel Effect by Jim Collins (Published in Fast Company, October 2001) Read more or share… »

switchingtracks for Blog and Facebook  4.0 8-7-13

Three Things I Learned While My Plane Crashed

In this short video, Ric Elias tells of his amazing aha experience – one he experienced during the crash of Flight 1549 on the Hudson River, on which he had a front-row seat.

What we would add to Ric’s story…

Ahas fundamentally change us for the better. The solution to a problem suddenly becomes clear. We see priorities more clearly. But more importantly, we act on them. The insight is so clear it is impossible not to do something with it.

We shouldn’t wait for a plane crash to experience an aha. We should seek them out. When faced with a problem, ahas are squelched by our past experience, unconscious assumptions, and the sheer momentum of doing things the way we always have. But we can actively challenge these and should.


 3 Things I learned While My Plane Crashed 8-5-13

Simplifying Complexity is Powerful

switchingtracks for Blog and Facebook  4.0 8-7-13

Six Ways to Make Sure Your Strategy Kicks Butt

Remarkable strategies enable businesses to surpass their competitors. They have six characteristics that make them able to kick a little competitor butt.

  1. Answer the question, “Different or Better”? Remarkable strategies move the business toward being different and better.
  2. Drive toward command of a niche or scale. For a strategy to create consistently higher profit, it must either drive toward command of a market niche, or to ever improving operational efficiency through scale. You can’t do both.
  3. Stretch the organization to challenge the status quo. Remarkable strategies challenge the way things are done today. <!–more–>
  4. Anticipate and engage the organization in the future. A strong strategy anticipates its own obsolescence. Anticipation is the new agility.
  5. Can be expressed in 2-3 short sentences so it’s understood by everyone. Remarkable strategies capture and hold the imagination of everyone touched by it – owners, customers, employees and communities – in a simple way.
  6. Link directly to execution through a disciplined plan of action. Remarkable strategies are remarkably actionable. They have clear priorities, clear ownership of those priorities from the top to the bottom of the organization, define success as a result, not an activity, and drive accomplishment of goals by quarters, not years.

Watch the 30 second and 45 second video below. #1 — Original Apple MacBook commercial. #2 a parody which points out the “differences” between the MacBook Air and more traditional laptops.

MacBook Air Commercial (00:30)

 Macbook Air Commerical 1

MacBook Air Parody (00:48)

MacBook Air Parody

Simplifying Complexity is Powerful

switchingtracks for Blog and Facebook  4.0 8-7-13

We’ve Been Tying Our Shoes Wrong

In this short video, Terry Moore shares how even at the ripe old age of 50+ he didn’t know how to tie his shoes correctly. Like most of us, Terry viewed himself to be an intelligent, savvy guy — who felt one of the skills he’d really nailed in his life was being able to tie his shoes. Boy was he wrong — and a smart shoe salesman set him on the right path. Along the way, Terry (re)learned a valuable lesson:

Sometimes challenging a seemingly small assumption someplace in life can yield tremendous results someplace else!


It’s a hoot. Plus, after all these years, you may just learn how to tie your shoes correctly.


As business people we can learn from Terry Moore’s lesson:

In business, when we do something and it works, we continue to do that thing. We stop asking if there is a better way. It works, so we keep doing it. But challenging the status quo, however successful, is critical to maintaining the vitality and competitiveness of the business and creates clarity. Just because something worked in the past doesn’t mean there isn’t a better way — a much better way.

 Many times, complexity in business is the result of not building a discipline of challenging assumptions about what we do today. This is true for strategic planning, sales development. marketing operations distribution and on and on. Every business’ number one objective should not be to drive to capture every opportunity but to master simplicity, precision, focus and clarity: Clarity, n. 1. the continuous practice of increasing understanding so that effective action may be taken 2. simplicity 3. accuracy 4. certainty 5. the definition of what, how and why something should be done, in a way that is easily understood. 6. the absence of vagueness. Business leaders frequently make the mistake of assuming that a simple change should be easy — they make an attempt, then give up and go back to the tried and true — because it’s easier. Simple does not mean easy. It’s good to learn how to tie your shoes correctly at 50. It’s good to challenge your business practices even when you’re experiencing success — especially when you’re experiencing success, but it’s critical when you’re facing poor results.

 Simplifying Complexity is Powerful